Deshaun Watson’s attorney may have reversed the spin that he applied to make the QB’s name great again.
Watson’s lead attorney, Rusty Hardin, interviewed with Houston’s SportsRadio 610 and pointed out that technically it isn’t illegal to get an unforced happy ending after a massage session.
The comments come on the cusp of multiple civil lawsuits and a pending disciplinary decision by the NFL.
The Happy Ending Theory
“I don’t know how many men are out there now that have had a massage that perhaps occasionally there was a happy ending,” Hardin said during the show. “Maybe there’s nobody in your listening audience that ever happened to.
“I do want to point out if it has happened it, it’s not a crime. OK? Unless you are paying somebody extra or so to give you some type of sexual activity, it’s not a crime. Doing something or saying something or being a way that makes you uncomfortable is not a crime.”
Can you say potential cha-ching to the civil case, counselor? Although the criminal complaint was dismissed, the 23 civil cases are still active, and Hardin’s comments do nothing to stop a potential civil windfall of cash to Watson’s accusers.
The Almost Fix
What did Hardin do? Talk even more to explain the comments on the radio interview via statement.
“Deshaun Watson did nothing wrong,” Hardin said. “And as two grand juries have made clear, Deshaun did nothing illegal. Deshaun has always acknowledged consensual sexual activity with three of the plaintiff massage therapists after massages. And Deshaun has repeatedly sworn under oath that he did not force any of his accusers to have sexual contact.
“On a Houston radio show interview today, I mentioned that a massage that has a ‘happy ending’ is not illegal, meaning it is not illegal for someone to have consensual sex with a therapist after a massage unless the sex is for pay. Deshaun did not pay anyone for sex. I was using the term hypothetically and not describing Deshaun’s case.
“I have reiterated to others it’s not OK to do anything that a woman does not agree to do. These women have alleged assault in their pleadings. I was speaking in a hypothetical situation. If there is a consensual sexual encounter after a massage, that is not a crime nor the basis for a civil lawsuit. I was not talking about what Deshaun did or did not do or expected or did not expect.”
New Accuser. Old Accusations.
Hardin opens the door for validation of the accusers that Watson stepped over the massage therapist-to-client boundary because of the gray area of coercion. Watson signed a guaranteed five-year $230 million deal with the Cleveland Browns, and his accusers have expressed how they felt he was being rewarded for his alleged bad behavior.
After a Real Sports HBO special featuring some of Watson’s alleged accusers, another came forward. Nia Smith filed against Watson in Harris County, Texas, stating that Watson was sexually inappropriate with her during three separate massage sessions in 2020.
“After seeing Watson publicly refuse to take responsibility for his action, saying he had ‘no regrets,’ and Watson’s lawyer repeatedly calling the women liars, she decided enough was enough,” her attorney, Tony Buzbee, reportedly stated in the court documents.
Watson still has a long way to go, and this new development does nothing to aid his case.